The whole world basically thinks we dodge snakes whenever we leave the house -- even in the city (we don’t) and that it never gets cold Down Under (it does). In the spirit of this, here’s a roundup of the most common beliefs about Australia (and how much truth is in each).
“There are spiders everywhere and they will kill you!” If you leave your boots outside overnight, you might want to shake them out just in case. In saying that, you’re probably not going to be attacked by a scheming funnel web at a restaurant. And not all the spiders here are dangerous. We’re quite happy to let a Daddy Longlegs chill in the corner if it’ll keep the mozzie situation under wraps. Because they don’t bite humans (apparently). TBH you should be more concerned with ants.
“Actually… ALL the animals will kill you!” Unless you’re spending a stupid amount of time in the ocean or bush the chances of seeing a deadly animal are pretty slim. In fact, majority of Australians make it through their day without once being attacked by a red belly black snake or shark. IMAGINE.
Note: That doesn't mean we don't see them from time to time.
“Except for the cute, cuddly ones!” Sure, koalas are cute. But they also have chlamydia. Google it.
“People keep kangaroos as pets.” Okay, so this one has isn’t as commonly believed as it used to be but there are still people who ask us whether they’re hopping about in the city. Seeing as our sarcasm is apparently undetectable, replying with “Nah, but we do hitch rides on wombats,” doesn’t always give the clarification they’re after.
“It’s never cold.” The weather depends on what state you’re traveling to. But chances are if you’re visiting Australia, you’ll probably have Sydney, Melbourne or another capital city on your to-do list. And guess what? IT GETS COLD HERE IN WINTER. We wear coats and scarves and boots and even whinge about how chilly it is outside. So please, if you’re visiting us between June and August, bring a jacket. Actually, just bring one anyway. Because sometimes not even Tim Bailey can predict the weather.
“Everyone drinks Fosters.” Nobody drinks Fosters.
“Everyone surfs.” We have a lot of beaches. And a lot of the people who live near the beaches surf. But it is not a compulsory skill. In saying that, we’re pretty shocked when we get to a beach overseas and notice the lack of waves. And what’s with those beaches with rocks instead of sand? Ouch.
“You’re all super chill.” For the most part, we’re willing to take the piss out of one another (and ourselves) and that tends to come off as “chill”. But we’re humans Down Under which means we’ve got our fair share of arseholes, too.
“Everyone is SO friendly.” As above, this is true to an extent. While most Aussies will help you out if you’re struggling with directions or chat to you if you’re alone in a bar, they’re less likely to invite you into their group of friends permanently. Especially in Sydney or Melbourne. Why? Because we are the Urban Dictionary definition of cliquey.
“Everyone is SO racist.” Casual racism is a bit of a thing here. And you’ll no doubt hear at least one or two racist “jokes” or stereotypes while you’re out and about -- which is not OK. But as above, we’re not ALL horrible people. So please give the good ones a chance and feel free to tell the bigots to beat it.
“You’re exactly like the cast members of Home And Away and Neighbours.” *Newsflash* Not everyone in Australia looks like Chris Hemsworth and Isabel Lucas. Shame. And we don’t all talk like Alf Stewart either, ya flamin’ galahs.
“Everybody speaks in weird slang.” As above, we don’t all talk like Alf Stewart and Crocodile Dundee, but we do like to shorten words and have nicknames for certain things. Please see 29 Things Australians Say (That Americans Don’t) as a rough guide.
Busted some more Aussie stereotypes? Comment below.